What do we mean by discrimination?

Discrimination (under Equal Opportunity law and FedUni Policy) happens when a person is treated unfairly simply because of a specific personal characteristic such as their religion, disability, race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, breastfeeding, pregnancy, age or physical features.

Sometimes discrimination happens in an indirect way, where an activity or rule is applied 'equally' to all, but which has an unequal effect on a particular group of students or staff.

Some examples are:

  • A timed exam. That might look fair to all, but might unfairly affect most blind/vision impaired students who need longer to have the exam paper read to them and to dictate their answers.
  • Early morning meetings. Everybody might have to get up early, but staff who have to get children to school just might not be able to get there "on time".
  • A teaching/meeting/socialising space that only has access by stairs. Everyone (equally) has to negotiate the stairs but that may not be possible for a staff member or student with a mobility disability.

Sometimes harassment and lack of appropriate flexibility can be a form of discrimination.

You can read more about discrimination in FedUni's Equal Opportunity and Valuing Diversity Policy.

Please contact the Equity and Equal Opportunity Office for advice, information or referral. Their role is to listen to your concerns and help you decide the best way forward to resolve your concern.

Fact Sheet

Discrimination and Harassment - Your rights and responsibilities at FedUni (PDF, 783kb).

Discrimination and harassment - Your rights and responsibilities at FedUni (Word, 26kb). Edited for screen reader accessibility.